1. Length of Stay – Allow 2-3 days for must-see visit. If you are starting your Mediterranean cruise of the Greek islands in Athens, spend a couple of days sightseeing before heading to the port to start your beach or Greek sea holiday.
2. Time of Year – There is no bad time to visit Athens. The tourist season runs from April to October with July and August being very busy and hot; so drink plenty of water and stay covered in the sun. With a temperate climate and mostly sunny days, even the “off season” is a wonderful time to visit. Hotels are open year-round. Museums are open year-long as well.
3. Safety – As with any travel, safety is always a concern. The capital of Greece, Athens, is generally a safe city. Avoid areas with a higher crime rate like Omonoia Square, especially at night. Always be aware of pick pocketing in crowded places no matter where you are travelling.
4. Places to Stay – Athens offers easy transportation with buses as well as wonderful walking opportunities. Look for a place to stay that is centrally located, such as Plaka and around Syntagma Square or can always chose to stay near by the sea in locations such as Glyfada or Vouliagmeni. With normal traffic, Athens center should be no more than 45 minutes by taxi.
5. Tours – Organized sightseeing tours are a good idea if you are only staying in Athens for a day or two because they allow you to see the majority of major sights quickly and easily. If you have a longer visit, walking around the city will allow you to discover the sights on your own.
Chat tours is one of the most known companies to offer such tours. They offer a variety from which you can chose what fits you. The Athens Sightseeing morning tour, a walking tour of Athens, Athens by night, the Cape Sounion half day tour and much more.
6. Transportation – Walking is the easiest way to enjoy Athens and the beauty of Greece’s capital. A walk-a-round will take you from the center of the city, Syntagma to Plaka, the Acropolis, Theseion, and/or Monstiraki. The modern transportation system and stations connect many neighborhoods as well. You can also use the Athens’s subway to move around the city, having stations in Syntagma Square, Monastiraki, Theseion, the Acropolis Museum etc.
7. Sights to See – No trip to Athens would be complete without seeing the Acropolis Rock, the symbol of Athens with the Parthenon lying upon it. The Acropolis Museum, opposite the Holy Rock, houses interesting exhibits in impressive architecture.
A stroll around the archaeological site of Ancient Agora in Thesseion or the picturesque quarter of Plaka are worth the time. Museums such as the Benaki Museum, the Cycladic Art Museum, the National Museum are a must to the visitor. Walk around the rock of the Acropolis. It will take you 1-1.30 hour.
8. Eat & Drink – Great food and drink surrounds you in Athens. You will find many traditional taverns with Greek dishes (some with live music too) and open air café-bars as well (Greeks enjoy very much to drink their coffee all year round, if possible, outdoors). Enjoy a drink with a view of the Acropolis or some tasty “souvlakia”.
9. Beaches –Athens is home to beautiful beaches close to the city. Varkiza and Vouliagmeni have organized beaches with sun beds and umbrellas for guests to enjoy the Mediterranean waters and Greek sands.
10. Extra time – If there is extra time, Athens is a great starting point for half-day trips to Cape Sounion and visit the Temple of Poseidon, Ancient Delphi, or Mycenae. Day cruises to the beautiful islands of the Saronic, Hydra, Poros, or Aegina are also available.
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